Chapel Hill: Opinion

What you’re saying: Eunice Brock, Tony Blake, Susan G. Slevach, Ruth Leopold, Ellie Kinnaird, Ramya Krishna and Shannon Meyer

Slow down growth

Just like representatives in our state and national legislatures, there are people who are purposely trying to cause dissension in our Town Council before the new members are even sworn in.

In particular I will point out the column by the orangepolitics.org editors entitled “New Council must lead divided community” (CHN, http://nando.com/2xh). In my opinion, we are not a divided community; rather, we are town citizens who want to slow down rapid growth so we can think rationally and purposely about what is happening to our town.

Developers have rushed their projects through the former Town Council without our full knowledge of how they would look and whether we need them or not. Unless we slow down growth we will have architecturally ugly apartment buildings with neither trees nor plants and something we neither need nor want.

I look forward to this new Town Council working well together for the betterment of the town we care about.

Eunice Brock

Chapel Hill

Where is the real danger?

As an observer of the recent Chapel Hill elections I am troubled by the commentary “New council must lead divided community” (CHN, http://nando.com/2xh). The opinion piece is not aligned with Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt’s farewell where he expressed “caution against political factions that tend to focus their energy on jealousy and retribution rather than the best interests of the people”

It was not preferences that defeated the incumbents; it was the Town Council repeatedly ignoring concerns of the electorate. Democracy at work should be celebrated.

Michael Parker asserted the Obey Creek process was “flawed” and the “proper analysis was not done,” but that he did not “violently object”; hardly a ringing endorsement. Perhaps Parker will join others to drive the changes that will make form-based code truly reflective of the community’s desires.

Donna Bell has chosen to be sworn in by former Mayor Kleinschmidt. Snubbing the tradition of a new mayor elect being sworn in first. In light of Kleinschmidt’s invocation, I have to agree her action reflects only divisiveness. That’s too bad.

PACs have been around since the 1940s. PAC rules have been refined and updated, and although flawed, PACs are tools of financial accountability. Developers act as undocumented PACs making multiple contributions from the same interests, circumventing the intent of the “voter-owned elections program.” The failure to make distinctions between types of PACs, or point out that they are an IRS requirement for organizations, reflect willful ignorance.

CHALT PAC has more local contributions than other candidates. Lee Storrow collected twice what CHALT did, also had the most nonresident. Former Mayor Kleinschmidt had half of his large donations from nonresidents. Many of the incumbents also had maximum contributions from various developer interests, many who have pending business before the town.

I ask the reader; where the real danger to the landscape of local elections lies?

Tony Blake

Chapel Hill

Reopen Britthaven

Recent elections brought us the CHALT (endorsed) slate, which called attention to the lost jobs and loss of affordable housing in Chapel Hill.

Hopefully the new mayor and council have better ideas.

Here’s one – for several years now the Britthaven nursing home at 1716 Legion Road has stood idle. This facility needs to be reopened in order to provide health care for some and jobs for many.

Susan G. Slevach

Retired R.N.

Chapel Hill

Through the ‘Roof’

On behalf of The Community Church of Chapel Hill, Unitarian Universalist, I want to thank The Chapel Hill News for the terrific picture of a scene from “Fiddler on the Roof” which you ran on the front page of the Nov. 22 edition.

It drew a lot of attention. The line for tickets on Sunday stretched out the door!

We are grateful for the coverage you gave us.

Ruth Leopold

Community Church of Chapel Hill

Editor’s note: You’re welcome, Ruth. To all community and high school theater directors: Please send details of upcoming shows to chnclerk@newsobserver.com so we can list them in the free Daybook calendar (and when schedules allow, shoot dress rehearsal photos).

Praiseworthy

Hurrah for the Orange County Living Wage Project (CHN, http://nando.com/2xe).

Chapel Hill and Carrboro prides itself on being the most progressive place in the state. But for low-income workers it is not a friendly community. One only has to look at the lack of opportunity for housing and good paying jobs. So this effort will start to make that reputation a reality.

All the businesses are to be praised, but one business that was not mentioned in the article has for 29 years been living that philosophy. Auto Logic has paid a generous living wage, provided insurance for all its employees along with two weeks paid vacation and sick leave.

Eleanor Kinnaird

Chapel Hill

‘Tis the musical season

In spite of superficial divides of association, proximity, and ideology, music unites, bringing together people who wish to experience the elation it brings and want to share it. The Duke Medicine Orchestra is the result of over 90 members from 26 departments connecting music to Duke Medicine and to the greater Durham community.

We’re branching out this holiday season with a beautiful piece commissioned from New York-based composer Michael Markowski, called “City Trees.” The premiere will be on Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus. We will be having a pre-concert talk at 7 p.m. with local artist Clara K Johnson, who will be exhibiting artwork designed for this theme, and Mr. Markowski, who will share the roots of his inspiration for “City Trees.”

Before the concert, lumber on out to our tree planting ceremony on Dec. 1 at noon, on Buchanan Boulevard between Onslow and Sedgefield, behind Baldwin Auditorium. Revel in the music of our Brass Ensemble and witness the planting of live trees in honor of our premiere. We are also participating in the Triangle Tree Challenge, so we “axe” you not to “leaf” us hanging (like our creative ornaments will be) and vote for us from Dec. 4 to Jan. 5th at triangletreechallenge.com.

Make us poplar! Tell your friends and family, and come enjoy some great music on Dec. 9 and the replenishment of Durham’s urban forest on Dec. 1. We hope to see you there.

Ramya Krishna

The writer is a senior at Durham City of Medicine Academy and a violinist in the Duke Medicine Orchestra

Come share with us

The Jan. 11-April 22, 2016, schedule for 24 morning classes, sponsored by Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill, is now available online at http://www.sharedlearningchapelhill.com

Paper copies of the six-page catalog can be picked up in the Chapel Hill Public Library or by calling Nancy at 703-329-2933. The registration period is from Nov. 30 to Jan. 4, 2016.

Some course titles include: “’Best Poets,” “the Bill of Rights and 14th Amendment,” “a History of Impressionism,” “Modern American Essays,” “Forensic History: Crimes, Frauds and Scandals,” “History of the English language” and “Views on the News.” Classes are held in comfortable classroom environments in Expand Church, formerly Celebration Assembly of God, at 114 Weaver Dairy Road in Chapel Hill.

Founded in 1981, Shared Learning is a voluntary association for persons living in or near Chapel Hill who wish to continue learning in groups and classroom settings. We offer our members stimulating, non-credit morning courses, designed and conducted by fellow members, in fall, spring and summer terms. Topics come from the humanities, hard sciences, fine arts, social and behavioral sciences and current events.

Nancy Goudreau

The writer is the vice president of Shared Learning

Kix is for kids

The N.C. Association for Scholastic Activities was thrilled to present the Central and East Regionals for the first ever Just for Kix NC Dance Ensemble Competition presented by Fox 50 on Nov. 14 at Northwood High School in Pittsboro and Broughton High School in Raleigh.

Both events were incredibly successful, and we’re excited to announce our regional champions. The West Regional was held Nov. 6.

In Middle School Jazz/Hip-hop, Wayne School of Engineering of Goldsboro won the East Regional, and Harris Road Middle School of Concord won the Central Regional.

In Middle School Contemporary/Lyrical, Parrott Academy of Kinston won the East Regional, and Clover Garden Middle School of Burlington won the Central Regional.

In High School Jazz/Hip-hop, Wakefield High School of Wake Forest won the East Regional, and Myers Park High School of Charlotte won the Central Regional.

In High School Contemporary/Lyrical, title of East Regional Champion is shared between Broughton High School of Raleigh and Wayne School of Engineering. Central Regional Champion is Hillside High School of Durham.

The state final will be held on December 5 at Wakefield High School in Wake Forest.

Shannon Meyer

The writer is the associate executive director of the N.C. Association for Scholastic Activities

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